Archive for November, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cancer Patients Receive Top Care at Keesler Air Force Base

Cancer patients who visit Keesler Air Force’s new Radiation Oncology Center (the first was wiped out in 2005 by Keesler Radiation OncologyHurricane Katrina) in Biloxi, Mississippi, receive outstanding care, including treatment with high-dose rate brachytherapy, a state-of-the-art linear accelerator and complimentary tubes of Jeans Cream to help soothe and heal skin from radiation side effects. Patients’ treatment protocol is closely monitored by Dr. James D. Mitchell, Dr. Patrick Jewell, and Margo Loe, R.N. The team also includes two government civilian administrative assistants provided by the Biloxi Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and eight contract members: two physicists, a dosimetrist, three radiation therapists, and a chief radiation therapist. The facility treats between 30-35 patient per day and finds that it’s the head and neck cancer patients as well as those being irradiated for cancers of the breast who need Jeans Cream the most.

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About the Medical Center, Keesler’s 81st Medical Group:
Keesler’s 81st Medical Group operates one of the largest Air Force medical facilities in the Air Force. Its primary mission is to maintain medical readiness for worldwide contingencies by providing quality, cost-effective health care for more than 27,000 enrollees, including almost 7,500 active-duty military personnel and/or family members. In addition, the 81st MDG commander oversees five military medical treatment facilities from Mobile, Ala., to New Orleans, coordinating care for 110,000 eligible beneficiaries along the Gulf Coast.

Keesler Medical CenterThe hospital offers almost 60 services and education programs with a staff of more than 1,600 military and civilian members and partnerships with Tricare, the University of Mississippi Medical Center, the VA Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System medical center and Gulfport Memorial Hospital. The hospital has seven newly-renovated surgery suites and a myriad of improvements throughout the ground floor including flood barriers on external doors and a re-alignment of high-dollar assets to floors above the basement level. Construction of their new $50+ million inpatient tower began in late 2009 and the new $10 million Radiation Oncology Center was completed in October 2009 and began treating patients in March 2010.

Friday, November 18, 2011

3 Simple Ways To Calm Your Fear

It’s amazing how much fear can come up when our physical health is challenged. We may entertain all the worst-case scenarios, calm seaworry how our illness will affect the ones we love, or suddenly find ourselves ill at ease in the world. While a certain amount of fear is healthy and can motivate us to create needed lifestyle changes or go after the medical care we need, a lot of it is not helpful and can actually stress our bodies further.

So, here are 3 simple ways you can get some leverage on the fear and restore yourself to calm:

1. Get a Leg Up. You don’t need to wait for the fear to become overwhelming. Plan to take 3, 5, 10, or 20-minute breaks every couple of hours for the purpose of calming your mind and centering your heart. You can take several deep breaths, meditate, walk outside, or listen to your favorite song. These short intermissions from your life will help you stay connected to yourself and make it less likely for you to spin out in fear. You may wish to set a few alarms in advance to help you remember.

2. Avoid Fear Inducers. If you’re with someone who starts telling you negative stories about how bad someone else’s similar situation turned out, or if they look at you with pitying eyes and speak with an implied “poor you” in their voice, WALK AWAY – FAST. Do not force yourself to hear them out just to be polite. You have enough on your plate without having to make someone else feel better about their negativity. Instead, engage with people who remind you of your strength, your great support system, and the possibility of Grace filling your life.

3. Take Control. Health challenges can have us feeling panicked with a lost sense of control. So what can you still control, even now? It may be the doctors and specialists you go to, or the people you choose to spend time with, what to focus your mind on, or even little things like how you are cleaning your house or cooking your food. If you can put yourself in the driver’s seat in some areas, it can decrease feelings of helplessness.

And here’s a bonus tip that no one really wants to hear, but it’s so important: Lay Off the Sugar, Caffeine and Junk Food! As hard as it is, these things tax the system and will keep you in a cycle of highs and lows. Unfortunately, these are usually the easiest things to grab when you don’t feel liking eating or cooking healthy meals for yourself. But see if you can reach for something a bit healthier next time. It really will help you stay more in charge of yourself and your ability to manage fear.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Radiating Hope Brings Our Healing Cream to Panama

Panama

Panama City

Radiating Hope is an inspiring nonprofit organization founded by radiation oncologists and mountain climbers that provides and updates radiation equipment to developing countries. Last spring, find they embarked on their first ever resident-organized international mission. A team of five residents, Luqman Dad, Brandon Fisher, Arthur Iglesias, Robert Mutter, and Jeff Olsen went on a self-funded visit to Panama City, Panama. We were honored to participate by donating tubes of Jeans Cream to help cancer patients there.

Brandon, the Founder and President of Radiating Hope, recently sent us the following letter about their trip and the situation regarding cancer treatment in Panama:

We visited the Instituto Oncologico Nacional (ION), the largest cancer facility in Panama and one of only two radiation sites in the country. ION is an essential hospital for cancer care in Panama, and the only one where people without social security or from rural parts of Panama can go for cancer treatment. The hospital is underfunded and doctors are overworked. Cancer patients often have to wait months for care, and supplies to combat side effects are limited. Panama faces an imminent crisis similar to that which exists for cancer care in many developing countries. Panama has a recorded cancer incidence of 4,600 cases per year and the mortality rate from cancer is 2,982 per year. Cancer currently kills more people than any other disease in Panama.

Jeans Cream at ION

ION andamp; Radiating Hope staff with donated tubes of Jeans Cream

Radiating Hope, with the help of Jeans Cream, was able to donate and deliver medical supplies, such as brachytherapy equipment and skin care products. Jeans Cream donated many tubes of skin products which were received with wide open arms and much appreciation.

All the best,

Brandon

President Radiating Hope